Connect with us

Town Talk

Town Talk: Honor Flight program offers closure and gratitude to veterans who served our nation – A conversation with Dianne Klopp and Bill North



In this Town Talk, our publisher Mike McCool speaks with Diane Klopp and Bill North from Honor Flight, Top of Virginia.

More than 40 veterans from World War II, Korea, and Vietnam will soon gather together to embark on a journey to visit their respective war memorials. Founder and President of Honor Flight Top of Virginia, Dianne Klopp, has organized this trip to show these brave men and women how grateful the nation is for their service.

This is an emotional event that provides an opportunity to honor veterans for their selflessness and sacrifice. The veterans will be given special access to witness the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Arlington National Cemetery, undoubtedly bringing up powerful emotions. It’s an excellent opportunity for veterans to come together and visit their memorials, gain closure for themselves and their lost comrades, and receive the gratitude they deserve for their service. The Honor Flight program is an excellent way to give back to the veterans who have given so much to our nation.

During the trip, veterans will be accompanied by their guardians, who will ensure the trip is safe and well-organized. Upon their return, the veterans will be given a hero’s welcome with a police and fire escort, which many did not receive upon their first return home. This experience will provide them with a sense of closure that they have long deserved.

In 2023, the program has scheduled two more trips to Washington, D.C., to honor veterans. The first trip will depart from Winchester on June 3rd, and the second trip will depart from Harrisonburg on September 23rd. Participation in an Honor Flight trip gives veterans the opportunity to share this momentous occasion with other comrades, remember the fallen, and share their stories and experiences with other veterans. Honored veterans always travel free of charge, thanks to generous donations to their organization.

The event promises to be an emotional and memorable experience for the veterans, their families, and anyone involved. Applications can be submitted via mail, so veterans who are interested in participating should fill out the forms and submit them as soon as possible.

To participate, veterans must fill out a Veteran Application either online or mail it to the address below. The Guardian Form must also be filled out by the veteran’s guardian, who must be between 18 and 65 years old. The Guardian Form should also be submitted to Honor Flight Top of Virginia along with the Veteran Application.

Honor Flight-Top of Virginia
P.O. Box 163
Middletown, VA 22645

Let us honor and celebrate our veterans and show them how grateful we are for their service.

Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied but hopefully interesting. Let us know if you have an idea or topic or want to hear from someone in our community. Send your request to



Share the News:

Town Talk

Samuels Library Brings Festive Cheer with December Activities and Exhibits



A Month Packed with Parades, Learning, and Community Engagement.

As December unfolds, Samuels Public Library in Front Royal bursts into a hive of festive and educational activities. From participating in the local parade to hosting a range of programs for all ages, the library is a focal point for community spirit and learning. Michal Ashby and Erin Rooney, key figures from the library, share an exciting lineup of events for the month.

The library kicks off December with a bang, participating in the local parade on December 2. With a surprise theme in store, the team at Samuels Library is set to add sparkle to the community event.

The library’s dedication to early childhood development shines through with its Music and Movement programs every Monday. Aimed at babies and toddlers, these sessions blend songs and yoga movements, fostering pre-literacy skills in a fun and engaging environment.

Homeschoolers aren’t left out, with the Homeschool Hub every other Tuesday focusing on science-based learning. Simultaneously, Science Scouts sessions are designed to spark young minds’ curiosity.

A unique collaboration with the Sheriff’s Department brings ‘Read with the Sheriff’ to the library on December 13th. This initiative is part of community policing efforts, creating a bridge between law enforcement and young residents.

Teen engagement is a priority; with special events like Teens Connect meeting monthly, local teenagers are encouraged to voice their opinions on future programs through a suggestion box, ensuring the library’s offerings resonate with their interests.

The library also celebrates the creativity of its patrons through the Holiday Writing Contest. A special reception honors the winners, where their works are shared, and the event is augmented by a professional publishing collaboration. This initiative is supported by a grant from Rappahannock Electric and the Royal Oak Bookstore.

The holiday spirit continues with the library’s festive open house. Different departments contribute to the event, creating a day filled with activities. Highlights include a special story time with Santa, a craft session, and musical events set in a beautifully decorated library environment.

For adults, there’s plenty to enjoy, too. December features the final program in collaboration with Shenandoah River State Park, focusing on winter photography. The Bad Romance special holiday edition offers a chance for book lovers to swap their favorite reads in a festive atmosphere.

A significant highlight is the traveling exhibit from the Library of Virginia, showcasing the Lantz Mills Deaf Village. This exhibit, supported by the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Sorenson Foundation, explores the history of a shared signing community in Virginia. An Intro to American Sign Language program on December 14th complements this insightful exhibit.

Samuels Public Library’s December schedule is a testament to its role as a community hub, offering diverse activities catering to all age groups. From educational programs to festive celebrations, the library is more than just a place for books; it’s a vibrant center for community engagement and learning.

Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied, but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Town Talk

Front Royal’s Vision for Youth: Reaching Out Now Spearheads Community Engagement and Development



Creating a Hub for Youth Empowerment and Community Involvement.

In an insightful discussion with Mike McCool at the Royal Examiner Studio, Sam Barber and Claire Schmitt from Reaching Out Now shared exciting plans for community engagement and the development of the Youth Center in Front Royal. Their vision is to foster a space that resonates with the needs and aspirations of local youth while actively involving the community.

A Community Gathering for a Cause

The team at Reaching Out Now is orchestrating a holiday meet-and-greet event scheduled for December 9th, from 2 to 5 pm, at Honey and Hops. This event allows community members to engage in meaningful conversations about the Youth Center and its impact. A renowned local guitarist, Joe Martin, will enhance the event with live music, showcasing community spirit and collaboration.

Building the Youth Center: A Collaborative Effort

The Youth Center, a project close to the hearts of Barber, Schmitt, and their colleagues, aims to be more than just a physical space. It is envisioned as a haven where youth can express their ideas and participate in activities that foster their growth. This initiative is fueled by a capital campaign seeking to raise significant funds and resources, including items on a wish list provided by the students themselves.

Listening to the Youth: Shaping the Future Together

The organizers have taken an inclusive approach by sending surveys to high schools, allowing students to voice their desires for the Youth Center. From wanting ping pong tables to requesting tutoring services, the feedback has been instrumental in shaping the center’s offerings. This endeavor aligns with the broader goal of giving youth a sense of ownership and voice in their community.

Expanding Community Engagement: Beyond the Youth Center

Reaching Out Now’s commitment extends beyond the Youth Center. They have actively engaged in school community programs, such as the ‘Better Together Family Outings,’ which includes a series of themed events like the upcoming ‘Holiday Cheer and Giving’ at Warren County Middle School on December 13th. These events are inclusive, catering to all families in the community, not just the underserved.

The Future of Front Royal’s Youth Center

Looking ahead, the Youth Center, fondly referred to as the Student Union by students, is set to become a vibrant hub for activities, learning, and community building. It aims to cater to diverse young people, including those not inclined towards athletics, offering them a safe and engaging environment.

Reaching Out Now’s efforts in developing the Youth Center and organizing community events exemplify a profound commitment to youth empowerment and community solidarity in Front Royal. Their vision is a testament to the power of collaborative community efforts in shaping a brighter future for young people.

Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied, but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Town Talk

Front Royal Welcomes New Councilman Glenn Wood: A Journey from Campaign to Council



A Fresh Perspective on Local Governance.

Glenn Wood, the newly elected councilman of Front Royal, sat down with Mike McCool in the Royal Examiner studio to discuss his recent election journey and his vision for the town. Having knocked on over 2,000 doors during his campaign, Wood brings a fresh perspective, fueled by direct community interactions, to the local government.

From Door-to-Door Campaigning to Council Chambers

Glenn Wood’s election campaign was marked by an extensive door-to-door outreach, engaging with a significant portion of Front Royal’s residents. This hands-on approach allowed him to gather first-hand insights into the community’s concerns and aspirations. Wood’s campaign emphasized personal connection, leaving notes for those he missed showing a dedication to reach every constituent.

Planning for a Collaborative Future

With a history of service on the Planning Commission, Wood aims to leverage his experience to address Front Royal’s growth and development challenges. He plans to continue serving on the Planning Commission for another year, subject to council approval, to provide stability and insight into the town’s planning and zoning initiatives. He focuses on fostering housing development and handling the challenges of the town’s continuous growth.

Working Together for a Unified Community

Wood emphasizes the importance of collaboration between the town and county, highlighting the mutual benefits of a unified approach. He recognizes the need for joint efforts in areas like water and sewer services, job creation, and retail development. His vision includes tackling challenges collaboratively, aiming for win-win scenarios for the town and the county.

Youth Engagement and Social Development

A key project Wood is excited about is the development of the Santmyers Youth Center, a venture that aims to provide a space for the socialization and development of Front Royal’s youth. This project, spearheaded by Reaching Out Now, reflects Wood’s commitment to creating opportunities for the younger generation, especially in the aftermath of the social disruptions caused by COVID-19.

Gratitude and Looking Forward

In his closing remarks, Wood expressed his gratitude to his supporters, including his wife Amy, campaign manager Tom Eshelman, friends, family, and the voters of Front Royal. He emphasized his commitment to being an accessible and responsive council member, inviting ongoing community input as he embarks on his term.


Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied, but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Town Talk

A Warm Embrace: The Community’s Effort to Shelter and Support the Homeless



Local Organizations and Volunteers Rally for Thermal Shelter’s Winter Mission.

As the chill of winter approaches, the community gears up for a vital mission: providing warmth and support to those in need. The Thermal Shelter, a beacon of hope for the homeless, is set to open its doors again, reflecting a story of compassion, collaboration, and community effort.

This year, the shelter anticipates an early opening on December 2nd, coinciding with the festive spirit of the Christmas parade. Compared to last year, an extension of service to 18 weeks indicates a deeper commitment to aiding the homeless during the colder months.

The shelter, located at the Front Royal Presbyterian Church, has been a haven of safety and comfort. The church’s ample space and welcoming environment have been crucial in sustaining this initiative. However, challenges like adequate volunteer availability, especially for tasks like laundry, remain a pressing need. The shelter calls for community members to volunteer time for essential services, emphasizing the need for weekend volunteers.

The community’s involvement doesn’t end there. Local organizations like the Front Royal Rotary, Masons, and various churches have pledged support through meal provisions and volunteer work. The Elks, often working behind the scenes, have been instrumental in their contributions. Their efforts highlight the shelter’s significance in fostering a spirit of unity and social responsibility within the community.

Financial donations, always a necessity, are encouraged. The shelter, undergoing a name change to ‘Hope and Rest Temporary Shelter’ (HARTS), aims to broaden its mission beyond just thermal assistance. This rebranding symbolizes the shelter’s aspirations to potentially include summer cooling services, reflecting an evolving and expanding community role.

The shelter’s operation is not just providing a roof and a warm meal. It’s about holistic support, addressing various needs of the homeless. Collaborations with the Department of Social Services (DSS) help connect individuals with essential services like Medicaid and SNAP. Efforts extend to providing tents and sleeping bags during warmer months, signifying a year-round commitment to the unhoused.

Despite the challenges, there’s a sense of optimism and determination. The shelter, now in its several years of operation, has witnessed increasing community involvement and support. Last year, it served 85 individuals, and with predictions of a colder winter, the numbers are expected to rise. This underscores the shelter’s critical role in the community, especially in times of hardship.

As the shelter prepares to open its doors, it stands as a testament to the power of community effort and compassion. It’s more than just a shelter; it’s a symbol of hope and a reminder of our collective responsibility to support those in need. In the season of giving, the community’s embrace of the shelter’s mission exemplifies the true spirit of togetherness and compassion.

For more information, visit

Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied, but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Town Talk

Shop, Win, and Celebrate: Front Royal’s 12 Days of Christmas Shopping Extravaganza



Local Businesses Unite for a Festive Shopping Adventure with Exciting Prizes!

Welcome to Front Royal’s holiday season highlight – the “12 Days of Christmas” shopping event! From December 2nd to 14th, twelve cherished local businesses are joining forces to sprinkle extra cheer and excitement into your Christmas shopping. This isn’t just about finding the perfect gifts; it’s a chance to win big while supporting your favorite local shops!

The concept is simple yet thrilling. For every $25 spent at any of the participating stores, shoppers earn an entry into a grand draw. But there’s more – spend over $25; each additional $5 gets you another entry. Imagine spending $35 and snagging three chances to win!

To get your entries, just take your receipts to the Visitors Center. The anticipation will peak on December 15th, when twelve lucky winners will be drawn, each walking away with a gift from one of the businesses.

Who are these generous businesses? They’re the heart and soul of Front Royal’s shopping scene:

  1. Main Street Geek – A haven for all things geeky.
  2. Dusty’s – Where vintage meets modern flair.
  3. Ole Timers – A touch of nostalgia in every purchase.
  4. Penny Lane Hair Co – Styling Front Royal, one haircut at a time.
  5. Front Royal Wines – For the wine enthusiasts.
  6. Main Street Mill – A delightful blend of history and taste.
  7. Fleetwood Vintage – Where the past is always in style.
  8. Mountain Trails – Gear up for your next adventure.
  9. Buckle & Belle Boutique – Chic and trendy fashion finds.
  10. Down Home Comfort Bakery – Sweet treats that feel like home.
  11. Dogwood Decor – For that unique home aesthetic.
  12. White Picket Fence – Classic charm for every home.

But the festive season in Front Royal isn’t limited to shopping. Mark your calendars for more upcoming events! November 24th is Local Comic Book Shop Day – a must for comic fans. The following day, November 25th, is Shop Small Day, celebrating our local businesses. December starts with a bang with the Christmas parade and Merry Market on the 2nd.

Don’t miss the grand opening of Penny Lane Hair Co on December 8th, complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. For a dash of holiday magic, join the community for Pictures with Santa at the Gazebo on December 9th, sponsored by Warren County Rotary, White Picket Fence, and Penny Lane Hair Co.

The “12 Days of Christmas” event is more than a shopping spree; it’s a community celebration. By participating, you’re not just bagging a chance to win delightful prizes but also supporting the local businesses that define the unique character of Front Royal. So, let’s step out, shop, and make this holiday season memorable!

Town Talk is a series on the Royal Examiner where we will introduce you to local entrepreneurs, businesses, non-profit leaders, and political figures who influence Warren County. Topics will be varied, but hopefully interesting. If you have an idea, topic, or want to hear from someone in our community, let us know. Send your request to

Share the News:
Continue Reading

Community Events

Warren County’s One-Stop Community Resource Fair: A Gateway to Local Services and Volunteer Opportunities



Connecting Community Members to a Wealth of Resources and Volunteer Opportunities in Front Royal.

The Warren County Department of Social Services is gearing up for its One-Stop Community Resource Fair on December 6th from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Warren County Community Center at 538 Villa Avenue in Front Royal. Meghan Bowers, the job developer for the Department of Social Services in Front Royal, shares insights into this much-anticipated event that aims to connect community members with a wide array of local services and volunteer opportunities.

Following the success of a recent job fair, which saw numerous connections made between job seekers and various businesses, the Department of Social Services is enthusiastic about the upcoming resource fair. The job fair, featuring on-the-spot interviews, catered to diverse employment sectors like construction, warehousing, and electrical apprenticeship programs.

The One-Stop Community Resource Fair is set to host about 20 organizations. This event is for those in need and individuals seeking volunteer opportunities or looking to support others. It’s a chance to discover the array of services available in the community, from rental support and therapeutic horsemanship to low-cost medical services and fire safety.

Organizations like Blue Ridge Housing offer rental and down payment support. Valley Health will provide free blood pressure screenings and information about food assistance and hot meal programs. The fair is also a great platform for veterans seeking guidance on benefits and resources.

For those looking to give back to the community, this fair is an ideal place to connect with organizations in need of volunteers. It’s an opportunity to meet decision-makers from various groups and find a volunteering role that suits your interests and skills.

The One-Stop Community Resource Fair in Warren County is more than just an event – it’s a shining example of the community’s spirit of giving and supporting one another. Whether you’re seeking assistance, looking to volunteer, or simply curious about the services available in your community, this fair is a valuable resource. It’s an embodiment of Front Royal and Warren County’s commitment to being a community that reaches out and helps those in need.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Meghan Bowers at 540-635-3430, ext 3354.

Share the News:
Continue Reading


Thank You to our Local Business Participants:


Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Avery-Hess Realty, Marilyn King

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Mountain Creative Consulting

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

CBM Mortgage, Michelle Napier

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Jamboree LLC

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Independent Business Alliance

Front Royal/Warren County C-CAP

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Treatment Center

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Fussell Florist

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

Habitat for Humanity

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jean’s Jewelers

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

Mountain View Music

National Media Services

Natural Results Chiropractic Clinic

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

Shenandoah Shores Management Group

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

Studio Verde

The Arc of Warren County

The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

Valley Chorale

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

Warren Coalition

Warren County Democratic Committee

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warren County DSS Job Development

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

Front Royal, VA
7:13 am4:51 pm EST
Feels like: 45°F
Wind: 1mph NW
Humidity: 100%
Pressure: 30.01"Hg
UV index: 0
59°F / 41°F
52°F / 34°F
50°F / 34°F

Upcoming Events

all-day Hoopin on the Hill @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Hoopin on the Hill @ Randolph-Macon Academy
Dec 2 all-day
Hoopin on the Hill @ Randolph-Macon Academy
HOOPIN ON THE HILL Basketball Tournament at Randolph-Macon Academy This weekend, Friday (Dec 1) and Saturday (Dec 2!), come out and cheer some excellent athletes on!!! Call Jennifer Avery at 540-683-0790 with questions. We would[...]
10:00 am A Tree-mendous Hike @ Sky Meadows State Park
A Tree-mendous Hike @ Sky Meadows State Park
Dec 2 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
A Tree-mendous Hike @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sensory Explorers’ Trail. Explore the rich natural history of trees guided by a Virginia Master Naturalist. Discover the tips and tricks of basic tree identification and the tree-mendous roles that trees play in our environment.[...]
10:00 am Kris Kringle Market @ Trinity Lutheran Church
Kris Kringle Market @ Trinity Lutheran Church
Dec 2 @ 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Kris Kringle Market @ Trinity Lutheran Church
The Trinity Lutheran Church Kringle Market will take place on Saturday, December 2, 2023 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.  The Kringle Market is centrally located in the Newtown–Stephensburg Historic District in the Trinity Lutheran[...]
10:00 am SPCA Thrift Shop Grand Reopening @ WASPCA Thrift Shop
SPCA Thrift Shop Grand Reopening @ WASPCA Thrift Shop
Dec 2 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
SPCA Thrift Shop Grand Reopening @ WASPCA Thrift Shop
After months of renovations and hard work, the Winchester Area SPCA is thrilled to welcome you back to its thrift store, where every purchase supports the mission of caring for and finding loving homes for[...]
1:00 pm Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Dec 2 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
New Bluegrass and traditional music jam the first Saturday of each month starting Feb. 4th, from 1pm till 4pm. All levels of playing invited to attend.
3:00 pm Valley Chorale “Once Upon a Chri... @ Calvary Episcopal Church
Valley Chorale “Once Upon a Chri... @ Calvary Episcopal Church
Dec 3 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Valley Chorale "Once Upon a Christmas" Concert @ Calvary Episcopal Church
Join The Valley Chorale for a family-friendly concert featuring favorite carols, hymns and songs of the Christmas season!
5:30 pm Free Holiday Meal @ Trinity Lutheran Church
Free Holiday Meal @ Trinity Lutheran Church
Dec 6 @ 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Free Holiday Meal @ Trinity Lutheran Church
If one has read the Surgeon General’s 2023 report on America’s epidemic of loneliness and crisis of disconnection, one can then understand the significance that a Holiday Meal can have on the community at large. [...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Dec 6 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]